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Great Women of Islam: Fatimah bint Muhammad PBUH

She was the youngest daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his favorite. She married his cousin 'Ali bin Abi Talib and was the mother of the great martyrs of Islam, Hasan and Hussein. She was born in Makkah a few years before her father was granted Prophethood. Though both Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and Khadijah already had three daughters before her they expressed great happiness at her birth. Going against the accepted custom, her mother did not send her beloved youngest daughter away to be breast fed in any of the surrounding villages, but kept her with her and nursed her herself. She loved her too much to entrust her to anyone else's care. Some years later her father was declared by Allah to be His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and last Messenger.

She and her mother and sisters Zaynab, Ruqayya, and Umm Kulthum accepted Islam. She spent her early years under the loving and tender care of her parents. Zeal for the defense of what is sacred and love of the righteous was ingrained in her.

Before Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) proclaimed himself the Last Prophet of Allah Almighty, he was the most popular, loved and respected man among the Quraysh. But once he announced himself to be the Allah's Prophet and Messenger, his whole life seemed to turn around. The streets he previously frequented were strewn with thorns and filth and garbage was thrown on him from balconies and rooftops. Elaborate plans were made to murder him. Naturally, all these trials and tribulations could not but leave a mark on his home life. Fatimah was passing the impressionable years of her childhood in the shadow of these events. Yet, her maturity was such that she faced all this with remarkable patience and determination.

She fought like a courageous little tigress to defend her father and protect him. She would stand in front of him to shield him from the attacks of devilish men like Abu Jahl, 'Utbah and Shaybah.

On one occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went into the sanctuary of Makkah with some of his Companions and started to pray, the disbelievers had just then sacrificed a camel. The filth and bowels of the camel were lying there, when a horrible idea came to Abu Jahl. He asked who among his friends would like to lift all that filth and pile it on the back of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'it, the lowest of the low among his friends, got up shrugged his shoulders with satanic glee, and said he would perform the task. And he lifted up the bloody filthy mess and piled it on the Prophet's back while he was in the act of prostrating before Allah. All of them then broke into peals of uncontrollable devilish laughter. When news of this dastardly act reached Fatimah, she rushed to the sanctuary. Removing with her little hands the impurity, furious at the brutal treatment given to her beloved father, she scolded the disbelievers. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) finished his prayers, he lifted his hands in supplication and appealed to Allah to hold these men, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Shaybah bin Rabi'ah, 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'it and Umayyah bin Khalaf, in His relentless grip. These devils became very nervous because they knew that any supplication made at the sanctuary in Makkah is never rejected by Allah Almighty. And the Prophet's prayers were answered.

Once Abu Jahl was sitting with the disbelievers in front of the Ka'bah, they were planning how to eliminate this man for the 'crime' of rejecting the idols.

They hated him for propagating the Oneness of Allah and for proclaiming himself as His Last Prophet and Messenger. Fatimah happened to pass by and heard him. She was so terrified of what these barbarians could do to her father that she went running to tell him of their dastardly plot. As she wept she told him they had sworn in the names of their most famous idols to kill him. All of them would attack him the moment he stepped out of his house. Innocently she asked him what would happen now. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told her to have faith in Allah, as He was her father's Protector.

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